Report looks at how to better help RI veterans

Feb 6, 2013

As Rhode Island servicemen and women return from the front lines, state officials are searching for better ways to make sure they have the jobs, education and the health services they need to integrate back into civilian life. A new report out of the state senate urges the state to do a better job connecting veterans with jobs and services.

The state counts more than 70,000 veterans living in Rhode Island, and unemployment numbers show they have a higher rate of joblessness than their civilian counterparts.  

A report titled, “The Rhode Back Home” says the state can do a better job getting veterans work and needed services, and outlines a number of ways to do just that. It includes creating a tax break for businesses where veterans are at least 35 percent of staff, giving veterans preferential treatment in college enrollment, and finding money to put homeless veterans into housing.

Every year thousands of Rhode Island veterans come in contact with the state’s behavioral healthcare system. And the report calls for boosting care for both veterans and their families and training law enforcement on how to respond to calls involving veterans grappling with mental health issues.

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